Leinster claim team of the year hat-trick

Johnny Sexton was not the only recipient at the annual Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Awards, held in Dublin last night.

While Sexton picked up his Player of the Year award at the Guinness Storehouse, his former province Leinster were voted the Dave Guiney Team of the Year for the third successive season after claiming the Amlin Challenge Cup, RaboDirect Pro12 League title and the British & Irish Cup in Joe Schmidt’s final campaign at the helm.

Six Nations Grand Slam winner Niamh Briggs picked up the Women’s Player of the Year while the Ireland Women’s side were also honoured for their achievement with a Special Recognition Award.

Irish Examiner columnist Donal Lenihan’s exploits as a former Ireland and &Lions player and manager were recognised with his induction into the Guinness Hall of Fame, while Lansdowne FC were voted Club of the Year following their All-Ireland League title success last season.

Also honoured was Irish Test referee Alain Rolland, set to retire at the end of the season. Rolland collected the Tom Rooney Award for his exceptional contribution to refereeing.

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